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HER Number:MDV54300
Name:Possible Site of Saxon Church in Crediton


Newcombes Meadow is a suggested alternative site for the location of the Saxon church at Crediton, possibly as it is close to the traditional site of St Boniface Well.


Grid Reference:SS 835 003
Map Sheet:SS80SW
Admin AreaDevon
Civil ParishCrediton
DistrictMid Devon
Ecclesiastical ParishCREDITON

Protected Status: none recorded

Other References/Statuses

  • Old DCC SMR Ref: SS80SW/29

Monument Type(s) and Dates

  • CHURCH (Saxon - 701 AD to 1065 AD (Between))

Full description

Devon County Council, 1838-1848, Tithe Maps and Apportionments (Website). SDV349463.

Plot 1007, part of 'Newcombes' and described as 'Front Meadow'. Map object based on this source.

Radford, C. A. R., 1957, Crediton, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross, 140-1 (Article in Serial). SDV338136.

No pre-Conquest remains are now visible in the fabric of the present church and the exact location of the Saxon monastery, its cathedral and the collegiate church are unknown.

Knowles, D. + Hadcock, R. N., 1971, Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales, 414, 424, 471 (Monograph). SDV323253.

Weddell, P. J., 1986, The Saxon Minster Collegiate Church and Bishop's Palace at Crediton (Report - Survey). SDV53415.

The origin of the ecclesiastical settlement at Crediton dates from AD739. Crediton is also recorded as the birthplace of St. Boniface in circa AD675 or 680. The See of Crediton was created in AD909 when Devon and Cornwall were separated from the Diocese of Sherborne; Crediton being the logical place as it was already the centre of a large episcopal estate. It remained a Cathedral Church for less that 150 years for in 1050 the See was moved to Exeter. Crediton became a Collegiate Church which existed until the dissolution. The location of the Saxon church has never been definitely established but it seems likely that it lay adjacent to or under part of the present church. If so, it is speculated that it may have lain within an enclosure now defined by East Street, Bowden Hill, Mill Street, Belle Parade, Blagdon and the vicinity of North Street. East Street and Bowden Hill are shown with suggestive curving courses on a map of 1598. With a stream flowing through the middle the resulting oval enclosure would have been similar to Kingsteignton, also a late Saxon settlement.
The churchyard is likely to contain remains of the Saxon Minster and other Saxon buildings. Newcombes Meadow has been suggested as an alternative site for the location of the Saxon church; it is the traditional site of St. Boniface's Well. However, nothing was found during drainage trenching and although this site seems unlikely, it is nevertheless suggested that any development in the area west of the church be monitored.

Gent, T. H., 2007, Review of the Archaeological Evidence for the Location of the Saxon Minster at Crediton, 1 (Report - Assessment). SDV339904.

One site that has been suggested is that of Newcombes Meadow, to the north-west of the modern church and close to the traditional site of St Boniface Well, perhaps the reason for this suggested location.

National Monuments Record, 2013, 35566 (National Monuments Record Database). SDV350846.

Possible site of the Saxon monastery and later cathedral and palace of bishops until 1050. A richly endowed Saxon monastery, possibly dedicated to St Gregory, was founded in 739 by a grant from King Aethelheard to Forethere, Bishop of Sherborne, in which see Crediton then lay. With the division of the See of Sherborne in 909, the former Saxon monastery became the cathedral church of the new see of Crediton and remained so until the see was removed to Exeter in 1050. Its location is not precisely known, although Leland suggested it lay here, close to the later churchyard, although it may be beneath the Church of the Holy Cross.

Ordnance Survey, 2013, MasterMap (Cartographic). SDV350786.

Map object based on this source.

Sources / Further Reading

SDV323253Monograph: Knowles, D. + Hadcock, R. N.. 1971. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. Medieval Religious Houses: England and Wales. Unknown + Digital (part). 414, 424, 471.
SDV338136Article in Serial: Radford, C. A. R.. 1957. Crediton, Collegiate Church of the Holy Cross. Archaeological Journal. 114. Unknown. 140-1.
SDV339904Report - Assessment: Gent, T. H.. 2007. Review of the Archaeological Evidence for the Location of the Saxon Minster at Crediton. Exeter Archaeology Report. 07.69. A4 Stapled + Digital. 1.
SDV349463Website: Devon County Council. 1838-1848. Tithe Maps and Apportionments. http://devon.gov.uk. Website.
SDV350786Cartographic: Ordnance Survey. 2013. MasterMap. Ordnance Survey Digital Mapping. Digital.
SDV350846National Monuments Record Database: National Monuments Record. 2013. 35566. National Monuments Record Database. Website.
SDV53415Report - Survey: Weddell, P. J.. 1986. The Saxon Minster Collegiate Church and Bishop's Palace at Crediton. Devon Religious Houses Survey. 6. A4 Stapled + Digital.

Associated Monuments

MDV17296Related to: Saxon Minster at Crediton (Monument)

Associated Finds: none recorded

Associated Events: none recorded

Date Last Edited:Jun 12 2015 2:40PM